Napoleon Dynamite – the Ugly Duckling of the MTV generation


Believe it or not I only watched “Napoleon Dynamite” last weekend. I really wish I watched the movie earlier as I’m sure I would have been more taken by its magic at a younger age. Having said that, the film remains a cute teenage love story.

Napoleon is a loser. He looks weird, he has bizarre interests and is socially inept. His family has a llama and that’s the best thing you can say about them. His brother is a similar weirdo and his uncle is trying to make all sorts of dodgy deals. All in all, Napoleon is a highly pitiable character. We meet him when he makes his first friend, a newbie Mexican immigrant Pablo. He also meets a Girl. Not to reveal too much, we see Napoleon turning into a swan eventually but not in a way you’d expect.

The movie reminds me a lot of Wes Anderson’s movies so if you enjoy his art, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by “Napoleon Dynamite”. The minimalism is a very good solution for a movie that clearly didn’t have a big budget. The lack of famous actors adds up to special mood of the feature.

The romantic story is a little bit silly but at the same time is very cute. It reminds you about your early youth when boys made you giggle and telling someone you “like them” was a huge deal. This is the reason why you won’t see any nudity on the screen or even explicit romanticism. The makers decided to make it much less obvious than that. It seems that even the audience used to a completely different form of expression enjoyed this nerdy and clumsy, yet adorable romance on the screen.

The humor of “Napoleon Dynamite” is quite subtle too. It comes mostly from weird characters doing weird things and is something you’ll either find entertaining or not. The jokes are quite absurd and you can notice quite a bit of racial and cultural stereotyping.

I’d recommend the movie to anyone who is a little bit overwhelmed by being an adult and would like to be reminded of times when your biggest problem was getting a C in maths. Give this movie a try and let its magic work its way to your heart. Also, don’t expect too much. I’d give it a 6,5 out of 10.


  1. When I first saw this movie… I felt that it was the story of my childhood… (grew up in a very small town and some of what you see was very typical… I can’t tell you how many things I dragged behind the school bus). I felt somewhat superior than other kids in the town… since I was never a member of FFA (no offense to anyone who is or was)… I then read your review… wow was I ever a “loser”… even worse than napoleon… (family didn’t have a llama)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oops! I didn’t mean to offend anyone but I believe that Napoleon was supposed to be a stereotypical loser. In the school world of popular vs unpopular everyone feels better than other kids. The popular ones think they better because everyone likes them and they’re school famous. The unpopular ones think they’re smarter than the popular ones and better as they’re not a part of the mainstream. Maybe you can by yourself a llama now.

      Liked by 1 person

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